Maximum cases pending in SCDRC, SHRC, SIC, SCPWCR
No road-map to provide justice to complainants, appellants
JAMMU, Oct 30: Due to winding up of seven State Commissions by the Government as per the provisions of Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization Act, uncertainty is prevailing over the disposal of nearly 4000 cases pending in these statutory bodies in the absence of any official word from the administration about the future course of action. Due to this, large number of complainants, appellants and applicants will remain deprived of justice for unspecified time-frame.
On October 23, 2019, the General Administration Department issued different orders mentioning that consequent upon the repeal of several State Acts by the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization Act, 2019, sanction has been accorded to the winding up of seven State Commissions with effect from October 31, 2019-the appointed date for the formation of the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir and Union Territory of Ladakh.
Through these Government orders, the Secretaries of these seven Commissions were directed to transfer all records pertaining to their respective statutory bodies to the concerned Administrative Departments.
“No doubt winding up of these Commissions was obligatory on the part of the Government as per the provisions of the J&K Reorganization Act passed by the Parliament in the first week of August this year but in the absence of any road-map uncertainty is prevailing over disposal of nearly 4000 cases which are pending in these Commissions”, official sources said.
As per the information gathered by EXCELSIOR from these State Commissions, maximum 2500 cases were pending for disposal in the State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission as on October 23 when the order about its winding up was issued by the General Administration Department.
The mandate of the Commission was to protect the interests of the consumers and settlement of their disputes. “Not only in this Commission large number of cases are also pending for disposal in the Jammu and Kashmir District Consumer Forums, which were also constituted under Jammu and Kashmir Consumer Protection Act, which presently stands repealed”, sources said.
“As of now there is no clarity about the fate of these pending cases and things will become clear only after UT administration starts functioning and implementation of the Central Act begins”, said Justice (retd) Sunil Hali, who ceases to act as President of the Commission as per the Government order regarding winding up of Commission.
Similarly, about 600 cases are pending for disposal in State Human Rights Commission, which has also been closed by the Government. “Nothing can be said about the future course of action vis-a-vis these cases, the record of which has been put under lock and key in the office of the Commission”, said an officer, who was heading important position at the time of winding up of the Commission.
“Though recommendations of the State Human Rights Commission were rarely acted upon by the successive Governments yet the Commission always remained flooded with complaints especially from the people of Kashmir valley”, official sources said.
As per the official record, a total of 233 Second Appeals and 131 complaints under the Jammu and Kashmir Right to Information Act were pending for disposal in the State Information Commission at the time of issuance of orders about its closure.
“We have simply been asked to hand over the record to the General Administration Department and there is no clarity about future course of action”, said Ashraf Mir, Information Commissioner, who left no stone unturned to dispose off as many as 2nd Appeals and complaints as possible even in the absence of another Information Commissioner and Chief Information Commissioner.
Likewise, uncertainty is prevailing over disposal of around 200 cases of varied nature which were pending in the State Commission for Protection of Women and Child Rights, which will cease to exist from tomorrow.
“Apart from the pending cases, there are several instances where the Commission had taken suo-moto cognizance and had asked the concerned agencies for filing reports”, sources said, adding “there is no official word from the Government about future course of action vis-a-vis pending cases”.
“Large number of cases are also pending in State Commission for Persons with Disabilities and some in the State Accountability Commission”, sources further said and stressed that Government should come up with the road-map for disposal of these cases so as to provide justice to the complainants, appellants and applicants.